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My Miki 2010/8/10 03:13

I don't think I've mentioned Miki, who was our black and white cat, smart, loving, and kind of smallish. She had a real hatred of dogs - don't know why, except that dogs and cats in Japan didn't seem to get along as they do here in the US. One of her favorite occupations was to sit and lie in wait on our outside staircase for Daisy to come by - Daisy was a neighbor's Doberman pincher, a sweet, skinny, loving, harmless not-very-alert dog who often came by looking for scraps, and who seemed to be forever pregnant or nursing. As Daisy came sauntering through, Miki would dive onto her back, holding on and digging in, until Daisy managed to shake her off. Not sure what Miki got out of doing this - maybe she was establishing her territory, but poor Daisy never did learn to avoid Miki, and Miki never learned to stop attacking her for all the time we lived in Berrick Hall.

Otherwise, Miki was a sweet animal. She followed us around like a puppy, produced several litters of kittens, and was a terrific mouser, the main reason the Japanese seemed to keep cats. She was a good teacher, bringing home stunned half-eaten mice and showing her little ones the tricks of effective torture and eating of rodents. Once she managed to eat what was probably rat poison and almost died, but Miki eventually recovered.

When we left Japan, we unhappily needed to leave Miki behind. She had just had a litter and we luckily found a good home with people who took in her entire family. We learned later on that Miki left her new home and kittens, apparently looking for us, and was gone for many days. She eventually went back to her kittens, bedraggled and thinned out, and from then on resumed her parenting, and presumably adjusted to her new home.

So - I guess I don't have a magical-place memory as requested by Peter, but this is as close as I can get.
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Bonnie Lady of Yokohama 2010/8/12 00:18
A friend of the family gave us a female German Shepherd puppy in about 1958. The puppy, named Bonnie Lady of Yokohama, was a reward for my after school dog walking chore for the pair of female Shepherds they owned, one of which was Sue Lady of Yokohama, a reserve champion dog from a Japan Kennel Club event in the mid 50s.
When Bonnie reached about 6 months old, a Japanese dog trainer visited us twice a week to give instruction. His commands to Bonnie were, naturally, in Japanese, accompanied by hand signals for sit, stay, come here, etc. Within a few months, Bonnie would obey hand signals without voice commands.
When we returned home in 1961, Bonnie shipped out with us on the MSTS ship General W. A. Mann. She was billeted with a dozen other dogs in cages on the ship's fantail for the two week trip. In additional to a half dozen painful shots before boarding, she was seasick nearly every day at sea. My daily assignment was to clean the dog and kennel, give her food and exercise twice a day. When we stopped for one day in Honolulu, she made the most pityful howl, wanting to get out of her cage on off the boat but it was not allowed.
Bonnie lived to accompany us to rural Iowa where my dad adopted a large orange, semi-wild barn cat from one of his insurance customers. Bonnie gave the cat wide berth following the second bloody nose experience. The young Tom Cat was not to be messed with by anyone, especially Bonnie.
She lived to be about 11 years of age. We found her curled up in the basement one morning, apparently asleep, having passed quietly in the night.
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

the Tom Cat 2010/8/12 03:33
Here's a little story about the orange Tom Cat:
When dad retired from civil service, we returned to Iowa where my mother's people were from. Dad got a job with Farm Bureau insurance and made sales with farm and ranch owners in the area to support the family.
As the weather cooled in the fall, my dad had mentioned to a customer that field mice were making their way in our house.
The customer couldn't believe his good fortune; here was an opportunity to get rid of one of the 13 or 14 barn cats he had to feed in his hay barn. To move the cat, the farmer produced a potato sack and it took both men to capture the animal and get him bagged.
Back home, dad carried the cat in the potato sack down into the basement to introduce him to his new digs. Released from the bag, the cat turned and bit my dad twice on the hand and scratched him across the mouth.
A few moments later, after mom's medical attention, dad went back down stairs, wearing heavy gloves and a leather jacket pulled up around his face. Dad cornered the cat in the coal room, grabbed him by the fur and drop-kicked him across the length of the basement.
The following morning, the cat appreared at the basement door, meekly asking for food and a scratch behind the ears, which dad provided. From that moment, he was dad's cat, following him around the yard like a loyal dog.
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

Moral 2010/8/12 04:16
..of the story.. never underestimate the power of a dropp-kick.
We had cats too. they seemed to turn up ..I thought that the Japanese knew that Americans had a soft heart for animals and poof..one or two would appear out of the blue. One orange cat was kabu-chan [pumpkin] and the others came and went. We gave pumpkin to a teacher when we were leaving but were called back a couple of days later to extract the cat from under the sink. Hopefully it worked out..Dogs were out of the question..and Akitas were prohibited, as they can be agressive and overprotective. Sadly many servise familys abandon there pets when they left. My friend terri also in the Veterinary service, was responsible for receiving the strays, and processing them for euthanisia.
That is a whole other story.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Eric 2010/8/12 12:27
It sounds like neither your Dad nor Tom Cat held grudges - they forgave each other - good. Did the Tom eventually get rid of the mice? Or had he trained your Dad for handouts instead?

Love these stories!
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Old pics of Yoohama 2010/8/16 10:47
Minasama, Konnichiha

This magazine is made by newspaper publishing company and Yokohama City. I can get this mainly at a post office. The title of the magazine is Hamajin. This is a meaning of the people of Yokohama.

This is a PHP file. Please watch the 12th page. This picture is Yokohama Marine Tower under construction. Marine Tower is a lighthouse completed in 1961 in Yamasita-chou. There is an observatory.

The 13th page is the picture that children play with a jump rope. You can watch the picture of the street performance by the monkey in the alley. The picture of the construction is the Yokohama station square. Many people gather now, and there is Sheraton Hotel.

The next page. Television finally spread in the general family. The then hero was Rikidouzan of the professional wrestler.

It is the photograph of Yamashita Park. There was the house of the flag officer of US in this park in those days.

The last picture is cultivation of seaweed in the Negishi bay. It reclaimed now.

These pictures are the scenery of Yokohama of 1950s. It was a good age. You will be able to be seen by doing the point to these pictures with the mouse and expanding by left-clicking.


by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Lighthouse/Tower 2010/8/16 12:46
Thank you Kaoru, I enjoyed the magazine but sadly I could not read it. I must start learning to write Japanese.
I climed the lighthouse with my wife who was afraid of heights. We only went up it one time.
I also liked the two pretty ladies in the ad for hair cutting or something like that.
Nice smiles. The world could use some more smiles now.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Yaki-Tori 2010/8/18 04:03
I see where Yokosuka had their annual "Friendship Day" was a big hit
70,000 people attended. I remember that they had one in Yokohama and was a good way to meet people and sample the food. Anyone else remember this ?
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Friendship Day 2010/8/18 04:15
Oh, yes I remember and participated in the base Friendship Days!! I have a couple of pictures of myself with two Japanese sailors aboard one of the Japanese ships (the Hieia [sp?]) open for tour during Yokosuka Friendship Day (probably 1981). In Yokohama, the Friendship Day was for O-Bon Festival/Bon-Odori. This was at the Hon-moku location, again in the early 1980's. Food, friendship, social interaction, O-Bon dancing, and probably more details that have slipped my mind at the moment. Wonderful times and a special part in my life.
by Lori (guest) rate this post as useful

US NAVY Friendship day 2010/8/18 07:45
Konnichiha, Lori, and Peter-san

I enjoyed Bonodori with my family at kid. It is held in Negishi base now. And Yokosuka base. The picture of the stage is a band of the 7th fleet.
The computer might be able to translate because this Japanese is comparatively easy... Try it.


by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Friendship day 2010/8/19 11:00
Thanks Kaoru
I went to the site and used the translation bar. One translation was very funny as these things sometimes are. The man at the BBQ was translated as American men burning flesh. I suppose thats correct but not quite the way it might be said.
Translation must be difficult as there are the words then there is the meaning and intent behind them.
Do you use english in your business ? I wish I had more oppertunities to use my bad Japanese.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Friendship day 2010/8/20 19:38
Konnchiha, Peter-san

The computer translation is not perfect now. I think that the translation that well will become possible in the near future. I went to Friendship day of Honmoku and Atsugi air base with parents. And I am chiefly using English for overseas pen pals.
by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Did somebody mention BBQ ? 2010/8/20 23:38
Friday morning; time to prepare the big eats for the weekend.
2 racks of baby back ribs.
10 ears of bicolor sweet corn.
Summer salad (cukes, tomatoes, green onions.)
2 gallons of iced tea.
1 case of Leinenkugels beer.
charcoal to make my contribution to global warming.
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

Eric 2010/8/21 00:54
by Lori (guest) rate this post as useful

Bayside Courts and Seaside Club 2010/8/21 11:51
Like Joe Garramone I was a printer at the Army Publication Center in Kawasaki and lived in Bayside Courts in 1970-71. I remember the Seaside Club well and a missionaryfs daughter named Cathy or Kathy, doesnft seem like 40 years have past.
by Michael Staggs (guest) rate this post as useful

Michael 2010/8/22 00:24
I agree with you, as my tour in Yokohama, 1967-68, seems like only yesterday, and are still vivid in my memory. I guess the enjoyable and important episodes in a personfs life have a lasting impression on the brain.
by Wally (guest) rate this post as useful

Vegetarian sandwich 2010/8/22 04:16
Sounds delicious, Eric. Here's another summer idea that's easy to make.

It's a sandwich, made with two slices of the tastiest multi-grain tasty bread you can find, or pita bread.

Lots of hummus goes on one slice. Some tasty avocado goes on the other. In between you put: cucumber sliced diagonally to prevent slippage; a couple of thin tomato slices; some slivers of red onion; and most important, some alfalfa sprouts to take up some room.

Filling and really good. Peter and my husband prepared this for one of our lunches in July.

This wouldn't be bad added to Eric's barbecue.
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Michael 2010/8/22 08:16
Hi Michael. Some of the guys I worked with must have still been there when you arrived. Names like Maines, Turcotte (last names) Sgt. Aston, Mr. Phelan-he was the top one in charge, Takahashi (Japanese national), a bald headed Japanese guy we affectionately called Curly who was a foreman, a cute Japanese girl who ran a small press in front of the foreman's office. Can you recall any other names? Do you recognize any that I mentioned? There were about 10 GI's running the presses and a few more in the Security room.

We would often get hamburgers at the small G.I. eating place and give them to some of the nationals. In return they would watch our presses as we took a nap. lol. Occasionally they would give us some sake.

Do you remember how bad the pollution smelled en route to Kawasaki? There was a lot of petroleum in the air.

Plenty of stories about Bayside Courts, including the massage parlor. lol
by Joe G. (guest) rate this post as useful

Wally 2010/8/22 08:19
Did you live at Bayside Courts?
I seem to recall a Wally, with blond hair. He was good friends with someone name Ron.
by Joe G. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Vegetarian sandwich 2010/8/22 08:23
Steffi, yum, this is exactly my favorite kind of sandwich! And for a refreshing summer dessert -- slices of watermelon or cantaloupe or homemade ice cream.
by Barbara (guest) rate this post as useful

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